It now looks like Walker is trying to take advantage of the economy Obama built with the much criticized stimulus money Republicans say failed miserably. But the media is onto him:
Politico: Republican governors in the heartland are taking an economic victory lap for what might be called the Midwestern miracle: Michigan is achieving the unbelievable and Wisconsin—well, according to Gov. Scott Walker, “the Wisconsin Comeback is working.” What—you thought this was President Obama’s recovery?The story goes something like this:
It’s an article of history, almost of faith, that a rising economy benefits the president, his party and its White House ticket. And there’s plenty to brag about: The national jobs report for February was greeted with“strong” to “wow” to “barnburner.” “The United States of America’s coming back,”
These governors are claiming the resurgences as their own in narratives that don’t mention Obama or the federal government, except as impediments. Yet economists say (it was) the policies Obama muscled through to strengthen the safety net and prevent collapse on both Wall Street and Main Street. To paraphrase Texas populist Jim Hightower: These governors were born on third base and they’re claiming credit for hitting triples. The irony is rich given that Obama confronted a solid wall of GOP opposition.
And this is how it happened:
Marc Levine, founding director of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, says Walker was “surfing on the impact of the stimulus” in his early months. Wisconsin’s share of the money resulted in a 50 percent increase in federal dollars coming into the state and helped push Wisconsin into the top 20 states for job growth in 2010. “We came out of the recession much more rapidly than other states,” Levine said. “My view is the stimulus played a very important role.”And the real reason so many are still unemployed:
Richard Stock, director of the Business Research Group at the University of Dayton, says that is partly because the labor force has shrunk by more than 100,000 ... due to older workers forced into early retirement by layoffs, shutdowns and difficulties finding new jobs ... new jobs … are not comparable to the high-wage manufacturing jobs that were lost. Levine cites similar asterisks … The growth of jobs and the Gross Domestic Product “has been inferior compared to national rates.
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